Report supplied by team PR
TEAM NEWS 10 OCTOBER, 2015 – Carlin’s Lando Norris has won the inaugural MSA Formula Championship at Brands Hatch today, after two races at the Kent circuit. On the same day that the 15-year-old racer won Carlin’s 300th ever race, Norris sealed the 2015 title with one race to spare after taking seventh place in race two as the light faded over Brands Hatch early this evening.
Having taken points for pole position, fastest lap and a win in race one earlier today, Norris needed to finish no more than one place behind nearest championship rival Ricky Collard in race two this afternoon to tie up the title before tomorrow’s season finale. In a delayed race two, Norris did what was required, taking seventh place behind Collard, who in turn finished behind Carlin’s Colton Herta. In an exciting race that was characterised by numerous overtaking moves Petru Florescu also found himself in the middle of the racing action.
After damage to the track from an earlier race, the sun was almost setting when the second MSA Formula race of the day got underway late this afternoon. With the top seven positions from race one reversed, Herta started sixth, Norris seventh and Florescu ninth. A slightly chaotic start saw several changes for position, with Norris getting shuffled down the order a few places and Herta moving up and passing Collard on lap one.
With Norris running close behind Collard, the championship looked to be going in the Carlin man’s favour in the opening stages. An enthusiastic move by Dan Baybutt however, briefly dropped Norris down to ninth and into a gaggle of squabbling cars which would have left him unable to seal the title. Norris fought back though and a lap later passed Baybutt to take the position back and close in once again on Collard.
Herta meanwhile, running on his oldest tyres of the weekend had dropped to sixth from fifth after being passed by Toby Sowery. That put the 15 year-old American directly in front of Collard who tried in the final stages of the race to find a way past. Despite struggling for grip, Herta kept Collard behind him in a Carlin sandwich with Norris running directly behind. As the last of the light faded, Norris crossed the line to take seventh and title, with Herta fifth and Florescu 11th.
The 2015 MSA Formula champion commented: “It feels amazing to be champion. It’s good to get it out of the way a day early; there would have been a lot of pressure if I’d had it all to do tomorrow. I can enjoy the final race of the season a bit more now. It’s made me very happy and it’s great to see the rest of the team happy after they did a great job all year.”
Trevor Carlin added: “We’re absolutely delighted that Lando has won the first ever MSA Formula title. He took the first ever win in the championship back here in March and has put in some fantastic performances since then to rack up eight wins and win the championship against some great competition. The effort the team put into this new championship even before the first race of the season was extremely significant and I’m so proud of every team member and the hard work they’ve put in. It’s been a delight to have this team and driver line-up this year and we’re aiming to finish the season on a high tomorrow.”